LAN Airlines S.A. and its subsidiaries, (“LAN” or “the Company”) (NYSE: LFL / IPSA: LAN), one of the leading airlines in Latin America, today reported its preliminary monthly traffic statistics and punctuality indicators for March 2012 compared to March 2011.
System passenger traffic increased 14.7% as capacity rose 8.2%. As a result, the Company’s load factor for the month increased 4.7 points to 82.4%. International passenger traffic accounted for approximately 68.5% of the month’s total passenger traffic.
Domestic passenger traffic in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia rose 17.2%, as capacity increased 12.5%. As a consequence, the domestic passenger load factor increased 3.1 points to 77.0%. International passenger traffic rose 13.7%, while capacity increased 6.1%. Accordingly, the international passenger load factor for the month increased 5.6 points to 85.1%. International capacity expansion was mainly driven by an increase in operations on certain regional routes, as well as routes to Mexico and the Caribbean, partially offset by reduced capacity on routes to Europe.
Cargo traffic rose 2.7% as capacity increased 0.8%. As a consequence, the cargo load factor increased 1.3 points to 71.3%. The low increase in cargo capacity is a result of no additional freighters being incorporated since January 2011 in addition to decreased availability in the bellies of passenger aircraft. The increase in traffic is driven by anticipated demand on certain seasonal products.
During March, 86.6% of the Company’s total flights left on time based on a fifteen-minute standard (all departures leaving within fifteen minutes of the scheduled departure time are considered as “on-time”). This represented an increase of 3.3 points compared to March 2011.
LAN Airlines is one of the leading passenger and cargo airlines in Latin America. The company and its affiliates serve over 100 destinations around the world through an extensive network that offers full connectivity within Latin America, while also linking the region with North America, Europe and the South Pacific, as well as 70 additional international destinations through its various code share agreements. LAN Airlines and its affiliates have a leading position in their respective domestic markets of Chile and Peru as well as an important presence in the Argentinean, Ecuadorian and Colombian domestic markets.